Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Just Married!

It has been three months since we've officially tied the knot. Since then, we have explored two wonderful cities (Singapore and Kuala Lumpur), gotten used to being together 24/7 and we have been having a blast as a newly married couple!

To celebrate our third wedding monthsary, BridalBook.ph -- the newest online wedding portal featuring real weddings and helping brides-to-be in their big day planning, featured our very own wedding day!

Sharing with you the link to the article sharing our love story, how Paul proposed and our dream team a.k.a. our list of wonderful suppliers who made our dream wedding come true!

Click here to read the article

Happy reading!!!

p.s. I promise to update this blog with more wedding how-tos SOON!!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pre-nup Pegs

Dear readers,

My apologies for not being able to update this blog as much. As we get closer to our BIG day, more and more tasks are now really screaming out loud as is calling us to quickly attend to them.

From the time we had our TingHun, I have been busy preparing for my Ke Tseng which is on top of the pending things-to-do for our wedding.

I shall provide you with my Ke Tseng list too as this was compiled based on advice taken from my newlywed friends and relatives.

We will be having our Pre-Nup photo shoot and not wanting to go with the usual flow of having it in a garden or an amusement park, we chose this particular place simply because it is meaningful for the both of us....SAN JUAN CITY.

You see, my fiance and I both live close to one another. We are literally one baranggay away and in fact, most of our dates would take place just around the neighborhood. While walking around our area one lazy Sunday afternoon, we realized that there are a number of picture-pretty areas around us and so we agreed to just have our pre-nup shoot here..where we are most comfortable in.

Our tone will be very casual and laid back, I actually saw a slide show that will serve as our peg for the photos.

Sharing this lovely video with you:

Can't wait to have fun with Paul and our photographer Ghie tomorrow! :)

video source: http://www.youtube.com/user/mytruestyle810303

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Officially Engaged: Ting Hun

Exactly a week ago, Paul and I had our Ting Hun (Engagement Party). In Chinese, this symbolizes that both families formally accepts their new son/daughter-in-law into the family. The preparation was tedious. Thanks to my mom and to my soon-to-be MIL, they really took care of making sure we had the best Ting Hun possible.

Traditionally, a Ting Hun is done at the girl's residence but most couples and families nowadays opt to just do this at the restaurant to make it more convenient for both sides. We had ours at Annapolis Seafood Palace in San Juan. At exacly 930AM, my family went to the restaurant to make sure that the room was properly set-up, the display table was ready and everyone was set to welcome Paul's family in. I, on the other hand, was in my hiding place as I am not supposed to be seen by Paul before the ceremony.

Paul enters the room first carrying two bouquets of flowers. He was then followed by his parents and the rest of his Ting Hun entourage who were carrying the other items that were prepared by his family as gifts. Note that everything should once again be in pairs. Two bouquet of flowers, two sin-na, etc. Others may have more but everything should be even in number. They quickly laid everything down on the table and once everything was set, I was signaled by my uncle to come out of my hiding place.

No, I just didn't walked to the room and entered normally, I was led by my aunt as I walked backwards up until I reached the front portion of the room where Paul and everyone was.

Sitting down, my sister began to serve us with orange soda (orange juice is also allowed). As soon as everyone has drank the soda, we began with the gift giving ceremony.

Here's how this ceremony should go. Note that this could also be a good guide for all photographers to document each step of the gift giving ceremony:
1) Guy attaches corsage on the girl
2) Girl gets boutonneire and pins it on the guy.
3) Guy's mother puts on the bangles (double bangles tied with red thread) on the girl
4) Guy's father puts on the medallion/necklace on the girl
5) Guy's elder relative puts on the watch on the girl
6) Girl's father puts on the medallion/necklace on the guy
7) Girl's mother puts on the watch on the guy
8) *optional* Girl's elder relative puts on the bracelet on the guy
9) Guy gets the wedding ring and slides this on to the girl's ring finger
10) Girl gets the wedding ring and slides this on to the guy's ring finger

I honestly felt like a dressed-up Barbie doll right after this particular ceremony. :) 

After the gift-giving ceremony, we got the tea tray and began the tea ceremony. This is when both the guy and the girl will formally introduce every member of their family to one another. This is also the best time to begin calling your in-laws "Pa" and "Ma". Not a very easy thing to get used to right away...believe me. :)

Right after this, my mom invited the entire Ting Hun entourage to the table to eat a bowl of sweet egg soup (2 pcs of hard boiled eggs + 2 ang cho + sugar cubes) and misua. We were told that we do not really have to eat both eggs but to make sure to cut this into half as everything left on the bowl should still be in pairs. We also enjoyed the delicious misua which symbolizes long life.

My mom also prepared a set of cakes bearing our names. She ordered this from our favorite bakeshop -- Estrel's who makes the best caramel cakes in town!

After having our misua and sweet egg soup, Paul had to bring both cakes for a ride. He had to go around the restaurant twice, honking his car as he passes by. This symbolizes having a great marriage life together. (yeha!!) After which, he left the cake with my name in the car and went back carrying just one cake back. We were told to wait three full days before slicing up the cake.

We took loads of photos before our lunch lauriat was served, flowers from the bouquet were also given out to our guests as well. Goody bags were also prepared by Paul's side which were given out to our guests and even to those who couldn't make it to the party. This serves like a formal announcement that the soon-to-wed are now engaged.

In order to get the complete list of items that each side needs to prepare, you may check out My Little Kanchiu Book which I got not-so-long ago at a bridal fair. A number of Chinese convenience store is also selling this for a minimal price.

Well, as we love to receive gifts, every bride-to-be have to bear in mind that you will not bring home ALL of the gifts given to you by the guy's side. As soon as all the ceremony has ended, you have to split all items and return half of these to the guy's family as a sign of being polite.

As all engaged couples are considered lucky, it is then customary to avoid attending another engagement, wedding or even wakes up until your wedding day. However, this rule varies per family.

We're officially engaged! :)

our lovely photos by: Ian Santillan

Friday, April 23, 2010

Kiu Hun (Pamamanhikan)

Thank God for this particular tiny red book that has taught me everything that I have to know about preparing for my BIG day. For someone who grew up without really observing all the traditional Chinese practices, I really appreciate having a handy-dandy guide book telling me all the things needed and steps to consider as well.

A couple of months after The Proposal, Paul made arrangements with his parents as to when they will be visiting to meet with my family and to formally ask my hand for marriage.

In the local culture, this is called Pamamanhikan, for us Filipino-Chinese, we call it Kiu Hun.

The Kiu Hun date was set right after New Year's Day and right before 10am, Paul, his parents and his younger brother arrived at our home with boxes of round fruits, sweets and cookies as gifts to my family.

Preparations were made on our end too. My loving Gwakong (maternal grandfather) prepared Cha Misua for everyone while my mom had sticky desserts to serve to our very important guests too.

We also made sure that each side has an even number of guests. I guess even numbers are considered lucky as I have encountered more even number situations later on.

Our Kiu Hun took more than two hours where we discussed the date of our Ting Hun (engagement), the number of guests for our BIG day and a lot more. This is normally the time wherein both families will finalize matters pertaining to both the Ting Hun and the Wedding Day.

After the Kiu Hun, we all had a clearer idea on how to plan our BIG day. Also, it made me feel really good that we officially got the blessings of our dear parents and elder relatives to get married. :)

image source: istockphoto

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dreaming of Strawberries and Chocolates

After setting our preliminary plans on how we want our BIG day to be, we moved on to deciding on a motif and over-all theme for our wedding.

Looking at our personalities, we're not the dramatic type. Ok, so I may be an aspiring drama queen but Paul is the quiet boy-next-door who just rides with all my drama at any given time of the day. No punk or rock motif either as we do not want anything black on our special day. We thought of making it a travel-inspired wedding after loving the samples seen in the local Martha Stewart Wedding magazine then decided against it as we feel a lot are doing this already.

Finally, we went back to basic. We both love food and we love to eat. This is probably one thing that bonded us and what continues to bring excitement to our relationship. We share a number of favorite edibles but zeroed down on our two greatest indulgence -- Strawberries and Chocolates.

An example on how much we love strawberries is the fact that we make it a point to travel up to Baguio on a yearly basis to hoard..and yes I literally mean h-o-a-r-d on all their juicy strawberries to enjoy back here in Manila. In addition to this, we also love strawberry-flavored desserts and drinks.

On chocolates, its funny how much we love chocolates but not the same kind. I love white chocolates while he adores the milk or bitter dark kind. For instance, a pack of gooey chocolate brownies is the perfect way to brighten up Paul's day.

It was set then, we will be playing with the colors baby pink and milky chocolate brown. I'm so excited to see them come together on our BIG day!

image source: Chocolate Favor Wraps

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Our Church Story: The Wooden Door

Ever since I was a young girl, I've always wanted to get married in a medium-sized church with a big wooden door. Preferably one that is brightly-lit with no ghostly feeling all around. My first church was really Mary the Queen Church, my parish church. I was baptized and confirmed in this church and it really makes great sense to get married here as well. Furthermore, Paul and I would always hear mass here... I shall spare you with all the romantic details of the time when we first held hands (yes, during Our Father) but yes, this church brings back really good memories for the both of us.

However, after going through the church's guidelines and getting feedbacks from couples who got married here, we decided to take a trip around the neighborhood before making our final decision.

The next stop was Santuario de San Jose. I've attended quite a number of weddings here and one thing I truly love about this church is the fact that it is fully air-conditioned making it comfortable for all the guests regardless of the temperature outside. Initially, I never even thought of this church because I knew that they had a glass door. I was really sticking to my wooden door wish. Other than that, I love the ambiance, the guidelines seems fair enough and the location was perfect.

One Sunday afternoon, Paul, sensing my frustrations to find a church, invited me to drop by Santuario de San Jose for another visit. We walked around the church and went to the parish office to inquire. After getting the rates, the friendly church personnel told us to go inside the church to take a look as they have just made some minor interior renovations. We walked back to the church and went inside. There was actually an ongoing wedding ceremony at that time. After saying a short prayer, we sat down and watched the ceremony. 

On our way out, something just pulled me to look at the door and I was surprised to see that the glass door was no longer there anymore. Instead there was a beautiful big wooden door with a stained glass artwork. I immediately squeezed Paul's hand as my way of telling him... I think we found our church.

The following week, we went back to the parish office to make our reservation. As of this moment, we have already submitted all of the requirements and is just waiting to be scheduled for the Canonical Interview. Everything went like a breeze as we were properly assisted. We also attended their 1-day Pre Cana Seminar which really gave us a better grasp of our life ahead as husband and wife.

Often times, we would go inside the church and imagine how it would look like on our BIG day. Boy, we can't wait! :)

Santuario de San Jose is located inside Greenhills East village, Buffalo cor. Duke streets.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Our Dream Team

Planning a wedding is harder than I thought. At some point, I am ready to conclude that it is truly a full-time career to plan for one's BIG day. Taking the advice of former brides, we began to scout for our suppliers and little by little built our dream team over the months. While we continue to keep my day jobs and just attend to our BIG day preparations during the weekend, we're both thankful to have the following people who are really working hard to make our dream wedding a reality:

Church : Santuario de San Jose
Reception Venue: Annapolis Seafood Palace
Wedding Cake : Red Ribbon

Wedding Coordinator : The Knot
Photographer / Videographer : Studio A by Ghie Javelosa
Florist : Angel of Hearts

Bridal and Entourage Gowns: Isabel Celdran
Groom's Suit : Lord West
Invites : Megaluck Printing
Make up : Sophia Uy :)
Rings : Marilou's Jewelry

Strings : Dennis Contreras and co.
Host : Jerome Go
Reception Music : Acoustic Incident
Lights: Sensitivity

Still need to finalize our lights and sounds, hair stylist, wines and the teeny-tiny details to tie everything in.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Date

Back when I was younger, I thought preparing for a wedding is an easy task. I blame Hollywood for giving me the impression that as soon as the guy gets down on one knee and the girl says yes, the next is to look for that perfect wedding gown, go straight to church and tadah! You'll finally be pronounced husband and wife.

Well, in reality, it's not THAT easy. First of all you have to decide on a DATE. Ok, before you go ahead and open up your planners to choose your wedding day, being Fil-Chi would require extra patience as you have to make sure that your wedding day won't clash with any of your Chinese zodiac signs as well as that of your parents.

It took Paul and I a while before we finally had our date. First we listed down our birthdays followed by the time that we were born. Next, we also listed down the birthdays of our beloved parents. Thanks to a fellow bride-to-be who directed me to a Feng Shui master, we went to downtown Manila one Sunday for our consultation. After giving him our list of birthdays, we watch him do a little computation and finally opened his magical Feng Shui book to list down a couple of possible dates that's good for us. For extra measures, we also took into consideration the zodiac signs of our entourage members as well.

The first date was 10-10-10. Immediately, I knew that it will be difficult for us to secure our church and venue as this date is highly sought after by most soon-to-wed couples for 2010. We requested for a second date and after going through three possibilities -- we finally had a winner.


It has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Will you Marry me?

February 28, 2009 --
I never thought the day would come when Paul would finally get down on one knee, hand me a small box that contains a precious stone and ask me that four special words that every girl dreams to hear.

"Will you marry me?"

I almost fainted had it not been for the strong cold air coming from his car's air conditioning unit. I screamed not because of fright but more because I was shocked, surprised, happy and well...shocked.

Sure we have been talking about it, at some point I was excited but as days, weeks and months go by, I started to wonder if he really is serious about it. After all, I needed a reassurance, right? I don't want to feel foolish planning my wedding when it's not official yet. At times, I wanted to argue with him because of it but I chose to shut up and to just keep all these thoughts to myself.

The Plan

His plan was really to invite me out to lunch today and propose right there and then but last night, I invited him to have dinner with me and my family and after wards, we were just playing with the computer while talking. Suddenly, he asked me if I wanted to grab some coffee at Starbucks. I declined because I just didn't feel like having coffee. He kept quiet then later asked me to accompany him to the car as he would like to park it nearer to our gate. I didn't know why but I agreed to go with him. He asked me to ride with him and I obliged. At this point, I kinda have a feeling something is up. Well, I assumed that he must have a bouquet of roses for me as I have been teasing him for not giving me one this Valentine's Day.

Unfortunately, when he opened my door, there was no bouquet in sight. I subtly even took a peek at the back seat to check but there was none. Ok, so maybe he just wanted me to ride with him, I thought.

Finally, he was able to park the car right in front of our gate and just when I was about to go down, he pulled me right back in and gently said those four beautiful words that made me cry and scream in shock. He gave me a beautiful diamond ring which I later found out was given by his mom. My heart melted knowing that he just gave me an heirloom. This made me cry even more.

The proposal was probably not close to any of those romantic scenes that movies would normally portray. Thinking about it, I really liked the way Paul did it. It was so sincere, simple and pure which is exactly how our five-year relationship has been.

The next morning, I woke up with a big smile on my face. Of course, I'm a bit scared because we will really start planning soon and there will definitely be a lot of obstacles and challenges along the way but I just reassured myself that no matter what happens, this is a new chapter in our lives where we will finally make a promise to God that we will be there for each other, forever.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Kanchiu Files

Hi! I'm Fran otherwise known as Frannywanny to the blogging community. I've started blogging as early as year 2001 as a young college student who made use of her blog to pour out her inner thoughts and to share her day-to-day experience as she goes through University life. Later on, I found my passion in food and travel that prompted me to open Frannywanny to the world.

Not so long ago, I took on another role...that of a bride-to-be to the man of my dreams. In less than 90 days, I will be walking down the aisle as we make our vow in front of God and our loved ones that we will love each other for the rest of our lives.

This will be a new chapter for us and boy are we excited!

What's in a Name? 

Kanchiu, means wedding in Chinese. I am a Filipino-Chinese bride-to-be who, on top of preparing for my big day also practices the age-old traditions that my parents, grandparents and ancestors went through during their own wedding preparations. There's that mind-boggling process of choosing the right date, the Ting Hun and a lot more.

This blog aims to help fellow Filipino-Chinese (Fil-Chi) Brides-to-be like myself to understand the different rituals and must-knows in order to make their own wedding preparation an easy ride.

Welcome to The Kanchiu Files.